Dateline: June, 2012
It's been a full ten years since I started It's Your Money. Back then, in 2002, I had no idea where this journey would lead. I just knew that I loved to write; I loved to read; and I knew that darn sure I needed to get my family out of debt.
In that span of years, we managed to work our way out of debt — well, all of it except our mortgage — twice. The latest "Debt Free Are We!" party happened in late 2008, and it's been "all clear" since then.
I cannot describe how much writing, building, and referring back to IYM helped us along our path. My primary intent, when putting all this work out there, was to maintain my own resolve, to make myself accountable to the world in those financial respects where, until 2002, I'd never even been accountable to myself.
There's a lot to read here, and it's my sincere hope that you'll spend some time doing so. Many of the articles on this main section of It's Your Money are becoming a bit dated, and I need to work on that. (My blog, Money Musings, tends to be stocked with content that's much more time-sensitive and current.)
A lot has happened in these ten plus years — both with me, and with the financial world we navigate each day. Still, I think you'll find that the precepts and advice bestowed in the main IYM articles, listed on the left, are fairly timeless.
I truly hope readers find as much value reading this content as I did writing it.
Want to get started with some basics? If so, this is the section for you.
It's vital to understand why we approach our finances the way we do, and it's just as vital to know the foundations for successful money management. Here, you'll find ideas and advice from a variety of personas.
During my debt struggles, I studied the work of Suze Orman (12 Steps From Debt), Dave Ramsey (The Baby Steps and the Debt Snowball), Mary Hunt (The Freedom Account), Philip "Dr. Phil" McGraw (Life Laws, Money Laws), and Thomas Stanley and William Danko (7 Factors of Wealth). Actually, that list just covers some of the biggies; in reality, I read the work of just about any money guru that I came across. (You know what? Some of them are pretty awful. You'll be happy to note that I didn't include any "awful" here, though.)
I will say this: Ten years on, the Spending Plan, Emergency Fund, and Freedom Account articles are just as comprehensive and valuable today as they ever were. They make a fantastic place to start.
Those of you who, like me, just aren't happy unless you have a book in your hands, will want to peruse my reading list and book reviews, for sure.
I've also spent a bunch of time reviewing finance-related products and service providers (think: banks and such). You can see just what I have to say about all of them in the pages in this section. Rest assured that I covered some of the best financial books out there!
Honestly, though, most of the other pages in this section need some updating. Oh, but for time!
Learn how to help keep yourself on track with Project: Motivation. Let your creativity and your money work together, and harness a bit of the internet's power by constructing your own Personal Goals and Weblog pages.
If you ever wondered just how big a geek I am, this is the section of IYM that'll answer your question.
The most popular page on It's Your Money lists my truckload of various Excel spreadsheets for home and personal use. A few years ago, I also did what any self-respecting financial site on the 'net would do: I learned some PHP and added a stash of financial calculators.
Writing on a plethora of topics — some standard, and some pretty off-kilter. Article subjects range from investing in bonds to hacking down trees to blatant consumer idiocy to just plain ol' life in general. Oh, and automobiles. We love to talk automobiles.
Stand back as I rant and rave on my blog, Money Musings. Talk to me by email. Learn a little more about me, or make a financial donation to the upkeep of IYM, if you're so inclined. And what would this site be without a wordy disclaimer?